Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Thursday, June 6, 2013


On this date, June 6, 1988, 9-year-old Jennifer Wilson was murdered by Richard Bible in Flagstaff, Yuma, Arizona. 23 years later on June 30, 2011, Richard Bible was executed by lethal injection. Le t us not forget her and other murdered children in the world. We will post several news sources and also the quotes from Jennifer’s family. 

Jennifer Wilson

Summary: In late May 1987, Richard Lynn Bible was released from prison after serving a sentence imposed in 1981 for kidnapping and sexual assault. At all times relevant to this case, Bible lived in Flagstaff, Arizona. In April 1988, the Coconino County Sheriff seized a dark green and white GMC "Jimmy" (or "Blazer-type") vehicle in Sedona, Arizona. The GMC had been used to deliver newspapers. A deputy who drove it to Flagstaff noticed rubber bands in the GMC, as well as damage to the left rear quarter panel. Another officer noticed the damaged quarter panel and saw bags of rubber bands in the vehicle. The Sheriff stored the vehicle in a fenced impound lot near Flagstaff, close to Sheep Hill. On June 5, 1988, Bible stole the GMC from the impound lot. A police officer saw the vehicle parked in Flagstaff later that day. The next day, June 6, 1988, shortly after 10:30 a.m., nine year-old Jennifer Wilson, began bicycling from where her family was staying in Flagstaff to a ranch a mile away. Jennifer's family passed her while driving to the ranch. When the child did not arrive at the ranch, her family began to search and found her bicycle by the side of the road. Unable to locate the girl, Jennifer's mother called the police at 11:21 a.m. The Flagstaff police arrived within minutes; they called in a helicopter, set up roadblocks, and alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"). Jennifer's mother told the police that she saw two vehicles on her way to the ranch. One was a royal blue Blazer-type vehicle. While at the ranch, she saw this same vehicle going the opposite direction at a high rate of speed. She described the driver as a dark haired, dark-complected Caucasian male, mid-to-late twenties, possibly wearing a white T-shirt. He had looked at her intently. That same day, Bible's brother was at his home near Sheep Hill. Bible arrived there shortly before 1:00 p.m., driving a dark green or dark silver, white-top Blazer-type vehicle with a dented left bumper — the vehicle Bible had stolen. Bible was wearing Levi pants, a plaid shirt, a camouflage baseball-type cap, and boots. He told his brother that the Blazer belonged to a friend. After Bible left, his brother — who thought that Bible had been stealing from him — called the police and described the vehicle. Shortly thereafter, a detective realized that Jennifer's mother's description of the Blazer-type vehicle and its driver approximated Bible and the GMC Jimmy. At about 5:00 pm, the GMC was discovered missing from the impound lot. At 6:20 pm, police officers saw Bible driving the GMC — although it had been painted a different color. The officers attempted to stop Bible, and a high-speed chase began. When finally cornered, Bible ran from the vehicle and hid. Using a tracking dog, officers found Bible hiding under a ledge, camouflaged with twigs, leaves, and branches. When arrested, Bible was wearing a "levi-type" jacket, jeans, a plaid shirt, boots, but no underwear. Bible also had wool gloves, and police found a baseball-type cap nearby. Police also found a large folding knife where Bible was hiding and another knife in one of his pockets. Within hours after his arrest, Bible confessed to stealing the GMC the previous day and painting the vehicle two hours before his arrest, but denied being in the area of the abduction. Bible had planned to drive the GMC to Phoenix, but a helicopter had him "pinned down." When Bible was booked, the police confiscated his clothing. Bible was incarcerated for the rest of the relevant time period. In the GMC, police found a green blanket and numerous rubber bands but no rubber band bags. The steering column had been cut open and one piece of metal had fallen to the floorboard. The GMC contained a case of twenty 50-milliliter bottles of "Suntory" vodka with two bottles missing. In the console was a wrapped cigar broken in two places, a "Dutchmaster" cigar wrapper and band were in the ashtray, and Carnation "Rich" hot chocolate packets were in the vehicle. Investigators found blood smeared inside and under the GMC, although testing did not reveal whether the blood was human. Following a large and unsuccessful police search, hikers accidentally found Jennifer's body near Sheep Hill nearly three weeks after her disappearance. Police secured the area and later videotaped the scene and processed evidence. Jennifer's naked body was hidden under a tree, mostly covered with branches, with her hands tied behind her back with a shoelace. Police found one of Jennifer's sneakers, without a shoelace, near the body. Jennifer's panties were in a tree nearby. An unwrapped, unsmoked cigar with two distinctive breaks in the middle was on the ground near the body. The cigars near the body and in the GMC looked very similar, had consistent breaks, and had identical seals. Microscopic analysis showed that the cigars had similar thresh cuts and tobacco mixtures. The cigars also had similar sieve test results and pH values. Although the nicotine values and ash content were slightly different, the cigars were from the same lot and were similar to, and consistent with, tobacco residue found in Bible's shirt pockets. An empty ten-pack box of Carnation "Rich" hot chocolate — matching the packets in the GMC — was near the body. Also nearby were two empty 50-milliliter "Suntory" vodka bottles — one approximately fifty feet from the body. Testing, which revealed no fingerprints, washed away the lot numbers on these empty bottles. In all other respects, these bottles were identical to the full bottles found in the GMC. Rubber bands were everywhere: on a path near the body; over, on, and under the body; in the tree where the panties were hanging; near Jennifer's other clothing; in the brush covering the body; in a tree above the body; and under a tree where one of Jennifer's shoes was found. Visual observation as well as testing revealed that the rubber bands in the GMC were round rather than oblong and were identical to those found near the body. A rubber band bag containing a few rubber bands was found five feet from the body. A patch of blood-matted grass was near the body. Testing revealed that this blood was human and was phosphoglucomutase ("PGM") subtype 2+, the same subtype as Jennifer's blood. Luminol spraying revealed a faint blood trail leading from the blood-matted grass to the body. Testing showed blood on the top of the branches covering the body. Near the body, police found a piece of metal that fit the GMC's steering column. In Flagstaff, at the location where the GMC was seen parked the day before Jennifer disappeared, police found another piece of metal from the vehicle's steering column. The three metal pieces (found inside the GMC, near the body, and where the GMC had been parked) fit together like jigsaw puzzle pieces. An investigator concluded that the three metal pieces were part of the GMC's steering column. An autopsy revealed that portions of the body (including the head and genital area) were severely decomposed, consistent with having been on Sheep Hill for approximately three weeks. Multiple skull fractures and a broken jawbone indicated that blows to the head caused Jennifer's death. The blood-matted grass near the body was consistent with the blows being inflicted there. Although the body was naked with the hands tied, suggesting sexual molestation, no sperm or semen was found. The physician performing the autopsy took pubic hair and muscle samples. Near the body were several clusters of golden brown hair approximately six to ten inches long. Although the hair found at the scene appeared to be lighter in color, it was microscopically similar to Jennifer's hair and could have come from her. In one of the locks of hair, an examiner found a pubic-type hair. This pubic-type hair was similar to Bible's pubic hair samples. Long brown hair found on Bible's jacket, shirt, and in his wallet were similar to Jennifer's hair and could have come from her. Investigators found hair similar to Bible's on a sheet used to wrap the body, and hair found on Jennifer's T-shirt was similar to Bible's. Hair on a blanket in the GMC was similar to Jennifer's, with a total of fifty-seven hairs in the GMC being similar to Jennifer's hair. Some of the hair found near the body, as well as the hair on Bible's shirt and in his wallet, was cut on one side and torn on the other. The investigator had never before seen such a cut/tear pattern but was able to duplicate the pattern by using the knives Bible possessed when arrested as well as other sharp knives. Twenty-one of the twenty-two hairs on Bible's jacket had similar cut/tears. Fibers found at Sheep Hill were identical to the GMC's seat covers, and similar to fibers from Bible's jacket lining and the green blanket in the GMC. Fibers in the lock of hair containing the pubic-type hair were similar to fibers from Bible's jacket. Fibers similar to those from the green blanket in the GMC were located in the branches covering the body. Microscopically, a green fiber on the sheet used to wrap the body was similar to fibers from the green blanket. A blue or purple fiber on the shoelace tying Jennifer's hands was similar to the lining in Bible's jacket. Investigators found blood on Bible's shirt, pants, and boots. The spatter pattern on the shirt was consistent with beating force. Testing could not determine whether the blood on his boots was human but revealed that the blood on Bible's shirt was human and PGM 2+ subtype, the same subtype as Jennifer's blood. Less than three percent of the population has PGM 2+ subtype. Because Bible is PGM 1+ subtype, the blood could not have been his. Testing performed by Cellmark Diagnostic Laboratories, Inc., showed that the deoxyribonucleic acid ("DNA") in the blood on Bible's shirt and Jennifer's DNA were a "match." Cellmark concluded that the chances were one in fourteen billion or, more conservatively, one in sixty million that the blood on Bible's shirt was not Jennifer's. While still in jail for stealing the GMC, Bible was charged with first degree murder, kidnapping, and molestation of a child under the age of fifteen. In April 1990, a jury convicted Bible on all charges and Bible was sentenced to death on the murder conviction. 

This poster went up all over the state of Arizona as law enforcement agencies and citizens searched for Jennifer Wilson.

Slain girl’s family to gather for graveside prayers during execution

2011-06-29 16:48:00

Jennifer Wilson

Jennifer Wilson was only 9 when she was killed by Richard Bible at the start of her summer vacation in Flagstaff in 1988. On Thursday, 23 years later, members of her extended family will gather at her graveside for a service led by Monsignor Richard O'Keeffe as Bible is executed in Florence for Jennifer's murder.

Jennifer's parents, Richard and Nancy Wilson, and three siblings will not be at the service. Instead, her parents, who now live in Palm Springs, Calif., will be in Phoenix awaiting the execution, while extended family and friends will gather in Yuma for prayers.

“That's all we can do,” explained Susan Wilson, who is married to Terry Wilson, Richard Wilson's brother. “Since we can't be there (in Phoenix), the best thing for us is to go out to her graveside.”

Susan believes the execution of Bible, 49, will bring the family long-awaited “closure” for an “evil act.”

“It's justice. It's sad it happened. It's not an easy feeling for any of us. We are just thinking about Jennifer. I wish it had never happened. We never got to see her graduation and the life things that should have been. It's very sad.”

Although the execution will bring closure, “we will never forget Jennifer,” Susan said.

“The pain is still there. The pain of Richard and Nancy losing their daughter will always be there. We have to just go on.

“Jennifer suffered and that's not right. The pain is there, but it's going to be over.”

However, Susan wished the process of bringing Bible to justice had been quicker. Bible has been on death row since 1990.

“After 23 years, I wish our justice system wasn't so long. It's hard on the family,” she said. “Richard and Nancy and their three kids have suffered. Our prayers are with them. Terry and I are just holding on tight.”

Susan also expressed appreciation for the community's support.

“Our family appreciates the concern and prayers for Richard and Nancy and their family.”

Jennifer Wilson's case launched the use of DNA evidence in AZ
2011-07-01 17:48:00

Jennifer Wilson

In the modern court room, DNA is commonly admitted as evidence to either convict or acquit a defendant — but when Richard Bible was on trial for the rape and murder of 9-year-old Jennifer Wilson in 1989, DNA “fingerprinting” was still something straight out of science fiction.

At the time the prosecution hoped to prove, using DNA testing, that about 50 blood stains splattered on the back of the shirt Bible was wearing when he was arrested June 6 in Flagstaff came from Wilson. Bible was arrested about 8 hours after Wilson went missing.

The prosecution said the accuracy of DNA testing was, “about 14 billion to 1.”

But before the evidence could be used in court, the prosecution had to convince Coconino Superior Court Judge Richard Mangum the new technology was reliable.

At the time Cellmark, the company responsible for analyzing the DNA in the Wilson case, explained to Mangum how the “new” technology they used chemically separated the DNA strands to determine its genetic pattern unique to each individual.

“DNA profiling as a tool for law enforcement has some prominent support,” Yuma Daily Sun staff writer Tony Carroll wrote in January of 1989. Before Carroll's article published, the FBI had launched an aggressive program to encourage state and local crime labs to use DNA technology.

“Properly used, DNA analysis will help us identify violent criminals earlier in the investigative process,” said FBI bureau director William Sessions in 1989.

In addition to its ability to link suspects, victims and crimes committed by the same person, “It can clear innocent persons who might otherwise be crime suspects,” he said. “The American public will be the ultimate beneficiary,” he added.

On February 24, 1989, Judge Mangum ruled to admit DNA profiling as evidence in the case even though the defense had fought against its admission.

While DNA had been used to convict rapists and murderers in other states and in England previously, Bible's case marked the first time the new technology was ever used in an Arizona courtroom.

At the time Rich Wilson, Jennifer's father, called the ruling “fantastic,” explaining that the identification would be one of the most important pieces of evidence.

With the aid of DNA evidence, Bible was found guilty on all counts on April 12, 1990. On June 12 of that same year, he was sentenced to death.

Ironically, just a few months before his execution on June 30, 2011, Bible's lawyers filed a petition to postpone his death until post-conviction DNA testing could be completed on hair samples found in the initial investigation.

On March 16, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled additional DNA tests would probably not exonerate Bible, and on June 30, Bible was executed at a state prison in Florence — a conclusion brought about partially by the use of DNA technology.

Nancy Wilson smiles at her husband, Richard Wilson, as he leans to give her a kiss on April 13, 1990, after a jury gave three guilty verdicts to Richard Bible for the kidnapping, molestation and first-degree murder of their daughter. While they attend Bible's execution Thursday, other family and friends will hold a graveside prayer service in Yuma.

QUOTE 1: "Today needed to happen," said Jennifer's father, Rich, after the execution.

QUOTE 2: Rich, Nancy and family, holding hands, left the crowded little room and into the heat of the day to be escorted away. The family made statements a short time later. "We'd like to offer our condolences to the Bible family," Rich said. "We know it must be a hard time for them also."

He thanked the communities of Flagstaff and Yuma for their support and prayers. "We could not stay intact as a family (without the support)," he said. "We could not have seen this through to fruition." Rich also thanked the law enforcement and criminal justice officials who helped. "Twenty-three years has been a very, very long time," he said, later adding. "The system does work." The system may be slow, cumbersome and frustrating, but it does work, Rich said. "As a family, we've started the healing process now," he added. 

Jennifer Wilson
QUOTE 3: Nancy, flanked by sons Adam and Brian and daughter Michele, said, "Justice is served today." The anguish felt on June 6, 1988, went far beyond them as a family and into the communities of Flagstaff and Yuma. "We want to thank everybody for their support and prayers," she said.

QUOTE 4: Susan Wilson believes the execution of Bible, 49, will bring the family long-awaited “closure” for an “evil act.” “It's justice. It's sad it happened. It's not an easy feeling for any of us. We are just thinking about Jennifer. I wish it had never happened. We never got to see her graduation and the life things that should have been. It's very sad.”

Although the execution will bring closure, “we will never forget Jennifer,” Susan said. “The pain is still there. The pain of Richard and Nancy losing their daughter will always be there. We have to just go on. “Jennifer suffered and that's not right. The pain is there, but it's going to be over.”

AUTHOR: Family members of Jennifer Wilson - she was murdered by Richard Lynn Bible on June 6, 1988. Richard Lynn Bible was executed by lethal injection in Arizona on June 30, 2011.

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